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Stonehouse, George
1714-1793

Evangelical clergyman, born at Hungerford, Berks on 5 August 1714. He graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge and became vicar of Islington, a family living, in 1738. At that time he was the only London clergyman involved in the evangelical revivial. He came under Moravian influence through his wife Mary, and was influenced by the Moravian P.H. Molther, an advocate of 'stillness'. John and Charles Wesley were often in his parish church in 1738, though there is no supporting evidence for the assertion that Charles Wesley was ever his curate. In conversation with John Wesley in May 1740 he rejected any idea of degrees of faith. He resigned and sold the living that year, retiring to Woodstock. In January 1745 Wesley found him 'gay and worldly' as a result of having married into money. Charles Wesley performed his second marriage in December 1755, when he moved to Bristol. The influence of Moravianism had waned. He spent his later years at East Brent, Somerset and he may have been the 'G.S.' whom John Wesley met in Bristol in August 1781. He died in Bristol on 5 December 1793.

Quotations

Charles Wesley, MS Journal:

June 14, 1739: 'The last time I had met Mr. Stonehouse and our opposers in the vestry, he astonished me by telling me he had consented that I should preach no more… Today, in company with my brother and him, I mentioned, without intending it, my exclusion through his consent. He pleaded that the Bishop of London had justified his churchwardens in their forcible expulsion of me; but at last was quite melted down, would do anything to repair his fault. Resolved no other should be excluded by him, as I had been.'

April 5 [1740]: '…"O how changed! How fallen!" How a mere, mere Mpravian all over! He is now taught to teach that there are no degrees of faith, no forgiveness of faith where any unbelief remains; any doubt, or fear, or sorrow. He himself was never justified, is going to leave his parish, and transport himself - to Germany!'

Sources

  • Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person

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